TV viewership fraud: 5 detained in Telangana for panel home manipulation

After Karnataka, the Broadcast Audience Research Council of India’s (BARC’s) vigilance team has taken action against panel home manipulators in Telangana.

Following in the footsteps of Karnataka, where tough action was taken against those involved in panel home manipulation in January this year, Telangana has now got an FIR filed against some. Taking note of the serious threat panel home tampering causes to the TV industry, the state police have also detained those accused based on the FIR.

The FIR was filed by the police after BARC India’s vigilance team found out that the details of the households where BARC India’s BAR-O-Meters (the machines installed in households to track viewership patterns) are installed were compromised. The FIR has been filed for manipulation, tampering, cheating and breach of trust.

“BARC India over the years has taken a number of measures to curb panel home tampering. However, there are still pockets and people who continue to indulge in such malpractices. We are continuously investing in technology and on-ground vigilance to curb these malpractices. BARC India has and will continue to take action against those who try and infiltrate our system,” said Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India.

Advertising is a major source of revenue for the TV industry and TV viewership data provided by BARC India acts as the currency for advertisers.

BARC India has also set up a disciplinary council under Justice Mukul Mudgal to strengthen transparency and credibility of its measurement system.